I’m Breaking Up With The Registry by Shannon Stoker

I’m a little behind on my GoodReads yearly goal of 100 books. I still catching up from my reading rut. I’ve been reading 3 books concurrently. Not because I’m trying to catch up on my goal, but that’s how I roll. I’m a promiscuous reader. I have a different book in each room to ensure that I have reading material no matter where I am my apartment. Am I the only one that does that? I recently broke up with this book:

The Registry by Shannon Stoker

Over the weekend I grabbed my ARC copy of  The Registry by Shannon Stoker for my road trip.  Before I explain why I abandoned this book, here’s the publisher’s description:

Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime

The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Novels about an alternate future like the one in The Registry fascinate me. It’s fun to think “what if?” Unfortunately, The Registry just didn’t work for me. Within the first 20 pages, all I could think was, Didn’t Margaret Atwood already write this book-The Handmaid’s Tale thirty years ago? Except Margaret Atwood’s novel is far richer and delves into deeper issues and observation about her dystopian society. I found Mia naive and whining. The situation of her escape felt unrealistic considering that Mia was uneducated and had never left her family farm (all due to society’s rules about women/girls).

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

I made it close to halfway through novel and just couldn’t bear to continue. I wanted to read the entire book to give it a fair chance, but it did not improve for me. The two main female characters, Mia and her friend Whitney, were just too one dimensional for me.  Their reactions to the events they witness, including [SPOILER ALERT] a murder [SPOILER ALERT OVER] are stereotypical female reactions. Whitney has a nervous breakdown. Mia becomes stoic and even more determined to escape to Mexico. However she questioned her humanity because she was not upset about the murder. 

Really? If a man had a nervous breakdown after witnessing a murder, he’d get funny looks. If he’s stoic about it, then he’s in control of his feelings. A girl, because Mia is still a girl psychologically since she’s been sheltered, refuses to let a  murder change her focus-well, then she’s no longer human. I

I stopped reading at page 124. Not to knock the YA genre, but I think
The Registry would fit better in that genre instead of adult. Maybe it’s New Adult? I’m not really sure. The novel has rather short chapters with more focus on the actions as opposed to deep character growth/development. The new America’s history is only given to me in little drips and drops. Not enough for me to appreciate the hows and whys of Stoker’s dystopian world. Those details would make the story much richer.thought that was a little dramatic.

I know it’s not available to the general public until June (I received an advance reader copy), but if you’ve read  The Registry by Shannon Stoker, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

In the meantime, I think I will dust off my copy of The Handmaid’s Tale for my fourth or fifth re-read.

About Thien-Kim

Thien-Kim is Editor of From Left to Write. She sneaks in her reading time late at night after her family is sound asleep. She also writes at I'm Not the Nanny.


  1. I first started reading this book in 20 minute segments throughout the week during my break at work and it never really caught my interest to read more until today for pretty much all the things you mentioned, but then things started to pick up after they started getting help (mostly as they are leaving St louis) and a lot of questions get answered about the new americas history and such, and once I got to that part I didn’t put the book down until I finished it about 15 minutes ago.

    I recommend picking it up and giving it another try but I understand if you don’t get into it.
    Also, I agree with you on the young adult/new adult label thing, especially since I thoroughly enjoyed it as a whole and I myself am a young/new adult. :)

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